In a big boost to the fight against the black money, the government has attached more than Rs. 4,300 crores of benami properties in the country.
The income tax department has listed more than 1,600 properties in 14 different cities, which is believed to be valued at Rs. 4,300 crore till June 30. Benami properties are those assets which are bought by an individual not under his or her name. It can include properties which are held in the name of spouse, child or any other family members, for which the amount is paid out of known sources of income.
As on 30th June, 2018, provisional attachments have been made in more than 1600 Benami Transactions involving Benami Properties valued at over Rs. 4,300 crore.
— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) July 24, 2018
Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla spoke about various steps taken by the present government to identify benami properties. He said that the income tax department has set up 24 dedicated ‘Benami Prohibition Units’ to get data related to benami transactions across India.
Shiv Pratap Shukla in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha said, “As on June 30, 2018, provisional attachments have been made in more than 1,600 benami transactions involving benami properties valued at over Rs 4,300 crore.”
The Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 1988 was amended by the present government to provide more teeth to fight against illicit transactions and black money. The new law seeks to prohibit the benami transaction irrespective of the method by which such property, movable and immovable, which can be then acquired. The act prohibits any illegal benami transactions and provides imprisonment up to seven years and fine for violation of the Act which may extend to 25% of the fair market value of the benami property.
It is reported that the tax collections from foreign companies have gone up to Rs 27,561 crore 2017-18, from Rs 24,541 crore a year ago. The minister said that as per the provisions of Income Tax Act, a foreign company is liable to tax all income, whether received or deemed to be received, from any source in India.
Since coming to power, the present government has shown more enthusiasm to fight against this menace. The government successfully implemented demonetization and exchanged the high value noted to inflict damage on a parallel economy run in the country. Recently, the government cracked down more than 16,500 shell companies and has put another 80,000 companies under the scanner.
Recently, the Narendra Modi government has also introduced a reward scheme to clamp down on benami properties. Under this scheme, the person who passes on any specific information related to benami properties will be eligible for a reward up to Rs 1 crore.